Roy Davis Jr.
The Redstone Room
Saturday, January 13, 9 p.m.
"The soulless dance music that most people have access to is so commercialized and sugar-coated," says DJ/musician Roy Davis Jr. on his Web site (http://www.ubiquityrecords.com/roy_davis.html). "The best tunes are so often underground now." Some of those tunes are about to be heard overground, as Davis brings his "soul electrica" stylings to the Redstone Room on January 13. Famed for mixing the deep-funk sounds of Chicago with electronic house music, Davis became much in-demand as a DJ after starting his own label - Red Cat Records - in 1993, and his 1998 single "Gabriel" has been described by Los Angeles City Beat magazine as "a worldwide dance-floor sensation." Since then, the artist has created acclaimed remixes for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Terry Dexter, and Gus Gus. Davis states that what makes his sound unique is its soulfulness, with such greats as Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder as longtime influences. Music, Davis says, "shouldn't just be about beats and instrumentation." I believed the same thing when I was younger. Maybe that's why my band directors were always pissed at me. For more information, visit (http://www.redstoneroom.com).
Bent River Brewing Company
Friday, January 12
Their names are Hugh DeNeal, Alex Kirt, Ratliff Dean Thiebaud, Dan Goett, and Greg Edwards. Their band is the Woodbox Gang, playing the Bent River Brewing Company on January 12. Their sound is a blend of bluegrass, country, folk, and rock. Their influences include Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and the Ramones. Their goal, according to the group's press release, is "to create sonic landscapes specifically tailored to the mood and theme of each composition." Their albums have titles such as Born with a Tail, I've Killed Men, and Drunk as Dragons. Their numbers include "Almost Enough to Make You Believe" - described as "a skeptic's anthem that will certainly be canonized if atheists ever compile a hymnal" - and "Family Night," the lyrics for which feature a conversation between a hillbilly father and daughter: "How is the sixth grade treating you, and when is the baby due?" / "Daddy, it'll be coming out this fall; I'll feed him good drugs and alcohol." And finally, their songs are said to "reside at the dusty crossroads between Hell and Purgatory." Which is where I'll probably end up for admitting that the Woodbox Gang sounds awfully cool. For more information, visit (http://www.woodboxgang.com).
Red Ribbon Dinner & Great Art Auction
Isle of Capri
Sunday, January 14, 5 p.m.
On January 14, AIDS Project Quad Cities hosts the 14th Annual Red Ribbon Dinner & Great Art Auction at the Isle of Capri, which will feature a cocktail party, an elegant dinner, music by Lojo Russo, and a silent auction of works donated by dozens of local and national artisans. And there's every reason to believe that the funds raised at this year's event will exceed 2006's tally of $103,000. I just wish that, for the featured entertainment, organizers had gone with someone a little more hip. Sure, the entertainer in question - Miss Richfield 1981 - has appeared on The Tonight Show and Today and performed a full-length cabaret show in Soho. Granted, the Twin Cities native has been called "a broad for broad-minded audiences" by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and her performances - according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune - create "lots of opportunities for a packed house to make merry fools of themselves." But 1981? That's, like, 26 years ago! And what's with her self-described career as a "former beauty queen and current post-office switchboard operator"? And for the love of Pete, what's with that enormous Adam's apple? It's almost as if this was a joke of some kind! For tickets and more information, visit (http://www.aidsprojectqc.org).
Rock Island Brewing Company
Thursday, January 11, 10 p.m.
If you visit the Web site for acoustic rockers Stable Daze (http://www.stabledaze.com), who perform at the Rock Island Brewing Company on January 11, you'll be able to download music, see photos of the band, read song lyrics - the usual. But, in a welcome surprise, you'll also know exactly what drinks to buy the guys after the show! Bass player Davis Michaelsen lists his favorite alcoholic treat as a Jim Beam on the rocks, a classy, reliable choice for a man who's played in 20 states and three countries, and has been making music for more than 20 years. Acoustic guitarist Bruce Dey prefers a Long Island Iced Tea, and the beverage's diverse ingredients would seem a perfect match for a passionate musician whose eclectic list of favorite artists includes Cat Stevens and Pearl Jam. Drummer Travis Mead admits to enjoying "a solid Jager Bomb," a potent potable for someone who rocked on a CB 300 drum set in fifth grade, and who spent his post-high-school career covering rock classics in Midwestern biker bars. And if, on Thursday night, RIBCO offers drink specials on these beverages and names them after the guys in the band, I'm totally gonna demand a commission. For more information, visit (http://www.ribco.com).
Strangers on a Train
Playcrafters Barn Theatre
Friday, January 12, through Sunday, January 21
"Hey, Guy." "Hey, Bruno." "If you take my father to the theatre, I'll take your wife." "Excuse me?" "I'll escort your wife to the Playcrafters Barn Theatre on January 12, if you escort my father." "Why would we do that?" "Well, I know you don't want to take your wife yourself." "That's true ... ." "And I can't be seen attending a show with my father." "Yes ... ." "So I'm offering a trade. I'll take care of your problem, and you take care of mine." "You're crazy, Bruno." "It would work!" "This is like something out of a Hitchcock movie; it would be like getting away with murder." "Exactly! The perfect crime!" "But what if people become suspicious?" "No one knows that we're acquainted - we're beyond suspicion." "What if the authorities become involved?" "I know how to handle them." "What if this all goes horribly, frighteningly awry?" "Trust me, Guy. It's foolproof." "Well ... maybe ... what show is Playcrafters presenting?" "Strangers on a Train." "Oh, fine. I guess you're right. What could possibly go wrong?" This classic mystery-thriller runs through January 20 at Moline's Barn Theatre, and tickets are available by calling (309) 762-0330.